Today, it occurred to me that a lot of excellent songs have titles containing the word “Heart”. After appreciating this truth, I decided I should arbitrarily rank them and create a playlist based upon the results.
While this exercise was initially prompted by the song “Heartbeat” by Cloud Nothings, I decided to exclude song titles, which include the words “Heartbeat” or “Heatless”. I also tried to skip songs I’ve written about before, or plan to write about, so “Open your Heart” by The Men and “I am Trying to Break Your Heart” by Wilco were cut. Oddly, this also eliminated “Heart in a Cage” by the Strokes.
1. “Heart of Glass” by Blondie.
This was incredibly easy. “Heart of Glass” is a stone-cold classic and an absolute jam. While it may represent Blondie selling out and embracing a commercially appealing disco song, it is also probably the single greatest song that genre ever produced.
2. “Young Hearts Spark Fire” by Japandroids.
Shockingly, this song was not event clearly the best Japandroids “Heart” song. It wasn’t even clearly the best “Heart” song on Post-Nothing. “Heart Sweats” is pretty awesome and devolves into a raucous scream-along when performed live. However, “Young Hearts Spark Fire” pretty much encapsulates Japandroids’ nihilism with a sighed admission of mortality aesthetic. “We used to dream/ Now we worry about dying/ I don’t wanna worry about dying/ I just want to worry about those sunshine girls” sums it up beautifully.
3. “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”
This Bobby “Blue” Bland sampling hit features one of the best beats Kanye West ever produced. It is also arguably the best song on Jay-z’s best album. This automatically catapults it onto this playlist.
4. “Heart in Your Heartbreak” by the Pains of Being Pure at Hear
This song is wordplay about heartbreak over a springy, twee bass-line. It’s pleasant enough, and then a surprisingly gruff guitar bridge hits, and suddenly it’s the fourth best song featuring the word “Heart” in my iTunes library.
5. “Heart Skipped a Beat” by The xx
Although, “Intro” is by far the breakout song from The xx’s eponymous debut, “Heart Skipped a Beat” is by far my favorite song by The XX. Of course, I’m a sucker for guy-girl trade off vocals, and the stuttering drumming meant to evoke a heartbeat is a nice touch.